Let's play a game of "connect the dots".

Dot No. 1: The Financial Times reported on the latest indication that Donald Trump might launch a cable TV station if he loses the presidential election.

Dot No. 2: Also yesterday, the Huffington Post published an article under the headline, "Is Shep Smith the future of Fox News?"

Here is the connection: Trump TV would be much more viable in a future in which the straight-shooting Shepard Smith really is the face of Fox News.


Certain opinion programmes on Fox News have fled the confines of reality in defence of the Republican nominee - but that will be a short-term trend if Trump falls short.

The new direction could be towards the political centre, according to HuffPo's profile of Smith:

"Since the forced departure of [chairman] Roger Ailes - who has now gone on to advise the spawn of Fox News, the Trump campaign - Rupert Murdoch's two sons, James and Lachlan, have taken a bigger role inside the network. If they get their way, some of the knuckle-dragging, opinion-heavy approach to politics may be less welcome at headquarters, clearing the way for journalists like Smith, Chris Wallace, Bret Baier and Megyn Kelly. The brothers are reportedly working hard to woo Kelly, hoping she'll stay at Fox past the election and help shape the network's post-Ailes identity.

That would open a gap in the media market - a gap Trump TV could fill. Imagine a split in which Fox News becomes more newsy, with centre-right pundits who represent traditional Republican perspectives, while Trump TV becomes the new home for the kind of populist-nationalist rhetoric he espoused during the campaign.

Trump certainly has the personnel to make it happen. Ailes is now an adviser. The Trump campaign's chief executive is Steve Bannon, the chairman of Breitbart News. Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner - who is involved in preliminary TV talks, according to the Financial Times - is the owner and publisher of the New York Observer. That's a lot of combined media savvy. And a lot of money.